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Social media enthusiasts hope it can spur development in Nigeria's Football

March 01, 2016 Nigeria recently hosted another edition of Social Media Week in Lagos, bringing together people from across fields like politics, entrepreneurship, fashion and sports.

Some participants discussed how social media can change the fortunes of the country’s most beloved sport – football.

Nigeria has established itself as a soccer-savvy country with football fans gathering almost every weekend to watch foreign league games. Many Nigerian have pledged allegiance to teams like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.  However the popularity of local league football seems not to be a priority.

Participants at the meeting said social media could help change that.

Speaking at one of the sessions, former Nigerian national team coach, Sunday Oliseh talked about how he used social media.

“I do a lot of contact with them through… via these and let’s not deceive ourselves, it’s also cheaper. If you have to make telephone calls sometimes it’s way more expensive especially if you’re trying to get in touch with your player who’s playing in Russia for instance, so it makes life a lot easier.But that notwithstanding, not every player is social media savvy so one has to like measure it the right way,”

Also commenting on the subject matter, journalist Collin Udoh said:

“You’ve got what? Over 92 million people on the Internet, 150 million people using mobile devices in this country so you want to tap into that resource. As much as they may be online as much as they are offline, they want to use that online model to get them to come offline to get to the stadiums to watch games so yes, 150 million mobile devices; that’s a huge market to tap into,”

Social media users also stressed that better internet service in Nigeria and other parts of Africa will enable people to take advantage of the opportunities on social platforms.

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